Many pet owners wonder whether or not canned food is a healthier option than dry kibble for their pup. The truth is, there are benefits that come along with both canned food and dry kibble. Let’s take a look at these benefits so that you can determine the best diet plan for your furry friend. We will also take a closer look at the best canned dog food brands. After all, whether you choose kibble or wet food, you need to make sure that you get a high quality recipe that is 100% complete and balanced.
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The Benefits of Canned Dog Food
First, we will take a look at the benefits that come along with canned dog food. One of the biggest advantages that we know of right off the top of our head is that they can be more appetizing to dogs. This is especially true for dogs that have a fussy appetite, or turn down certain dry foods. Most dogs will jump on the idea of eating canned food at any chance they get!
Another benefit is that fact that canned food usually has fewer carbohydrates than dry kibble. The carbohydrate content of canned food is usually between 18% to 57%, where it is between 46% to 74% in dry food. Carbohydrates are necessary for your pup, but you don’t want them to get too much.
What to Look for in the Best Canned Dog Food
Whether you are looking for the best kibble, or the best canned food, you will want to make sure that you read the label. This is going to give you all of the information that you need about a particular brand of dog food.
You will need to first look at the ingredients and make sure that the number one ingredient is a protein source, preferably a meat based source. You will also want to make sure that it doesn’t contain any fillers. Some say to avoid byproducts as well, but there are a few high quality brands out there that do contain some type of byproduct.
Aside from looking at the protein content, it is also important to look at the calorie content to ensure that it is a healthy food for your dog. Some foods are calorie dense, and this is always the best option. Just remember, calorie dense foods don’t require your dog to eat as much, so you will always want to make sure that you double check your pup’s caloric needs and feed them accordingly. This will help to prevent obesity, which is so prevalent among dogs that eat a diet made up of solely wet or canned food.
Now that you know more about the benefits and drawbacks of serving canned food to your dog, it is time to take a look at some of our top picks. Here they are, in no particular order:
Reviews of the Top 10 Best Canned Dog Food
#1 Royal Canin Selected Protein Canned Formula
When it comes to premium dog food, Royal Canin knows what they are doing.
They have a variety of foods in their line, ranging from breed specific formulas to sensitive stomach formulas. They also have canned foods. The Royal Canin Selected Protein Canned formula comes in both regular and hypoallergenic recipes. The regular formula is made up of venison and potato proteins, which give it a great taste. The hypoallergenic formula is easy to digest, and made up of rabbit and potato proteins, which are ideal for dogs with food sensitivities.
They both offer added antioxidants to boost cellular health and immunity. Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B help to give your dog a healthy skin and coat. Feed this canned food as a supplement to other Royal Canin dry kibble formulas for optimally balanced nutrition.
#2 Nature’s Variety Instinct Canned Formula
Nature’s Variety Instinct is a popular name brand in the dog food industry.
They not only offer dry kibble, but they also have a variety of canned formulas. Their formulas are all grain free, and include no fillers or soy products. This gives your dog optimal nutrition, and helps them to avoid food allergies that come along with grains. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, they also offer limited ingredient diet formulas that will offer your dog adequate nutrition, without the risk of an upset stomach.
Their formulas are 100% complete and balanced for all breeds and all life stages- and it is carefully made in the USA. Give Nature’s Variety Instinct a try, and see if you notice a difference in your dog’s overall health and wellbeing! Chances are you will see a big difference in their digestion.
#3 FirstMate Pet Foods Canned Formula
FirstMate Pet Foods is a Canadian based company that manufactures a wide range of premium quality pet foods.
Their food is grain free, with limited ingredients. They have various flavor varieties for you to choose from, including turkey, chicken and salmon- each of which are made with protein as the number one ingredient. FirstMate’s approach to dog food is this – “The Best Nutrition is Simple”. This is seen in each and every can of their dog food. Whether you have a puppy or a dog in their ‘Golden’ years, this food is suitable for all life stages.
When simplicity is what you are looking for, you definitely want to give FirstMate a try. It is not only made up of just a few simple ingredients, but it is also packed with nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that will aid in your pet’s overall wellness.
#4 Addiction Canned Formula
For those that want to feed their pet something a bit different, the Addiction canned formulas may be just what you are looking for!
They have various different flavor varieties, including Black Forest Rabbit & Blueberries, Turkey with Cranberries & Apples, King Salmon & Potatoes, and more! Each of their foods are packed with antioxidants that promote good health, and added vitamins and minerals. The formulas are also all natural, with no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. Their foods are considered a wild gourmet delicacy for dogs in all stages of life.
While you don’t want to feed the canned formulas daily, you can definitely supplement it alongside Addiction dry recipes. One key factor when it comes to the Addiction brand is that their foods are grain free, and suitable for dogs that have sensitive stomachs. This is not something that you find in all canned foods.
#5 Blue Buffalo Canned Formula
Blue Buffalo has a variety of dry and canned foods for dogs, and their approach is to keep it healthy and holistic.
They have three different homestyle recipes to choose from, including chicken dinner, beef dinner and turkey meatloaf dinner. They also have other flavor varieties, to ensure there is something to please your dog’s taste buds. Each of their canned formulas provides the Blue LifeSource Bits, which offers added antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for your dog’s overall health. The food doesn’t contain any meat by-products or meals, nor does it have artificial preservatives, wheat, soy or corn. Only the finest ingredients make up this line of premium canned food for dogs.
If you are considering a raw diet, then this is a sensible alternative. Each of the formulas contains garden vegetables for added nutrients to aid in health and digestion. They also offer their grain free Wilderness formulas, which are ideal for some dogs.
#6 Wysong Anergen Canned Formula
Wysong has been in business since 1979, and their foods are complete and holistic.
They have foods for dogs and cats, and other domestic animals as well. They don’t outsource the manufacturing of their foods, which gives them an edge over many of the other commercial brands out there. Quality is of the utmost importance to them. Wysong Anergen canned formulas are great for dogs in all stages of life. It is an all-natural food that is designed to boost healthy digestion. It has minimal ingredients, but is rich in nutrients.
There are a couple of choices when it comes to size. You can choose from a 14 oz can, or a 5.5 oz. can. For larger breed dogs, it makes sense to go with larger cans. For smaller breeds, the small cans may be ideal because it will help you portion it without it spoiling.
#7 Natures Harvest Wet Dog Food
Natures Harvest is specifically formulated to mimic the natural diet of a dog, and the ingredients that make up this recipe are premium quality.
There are no meat or vegetable by-products or fillers in any of their foods. They are also free of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Each serving contains a large percentage of fresh meat, which is what the basis of a dog’s instinctive diet. The food is enriched with chondroitin and glucosamine to promote good joint health, and there are natural herbs and vitamins that offer nutrients as well.
This food can really help to improve digestion and joint health, but it also helps to boost their immune system. This food is in convenient, single serve trays, and is ideal for dogs in all life stages since they have puppy and senior formulas available.
#8 Wellness Core Grain-Free Canned Formula
The Wellness brand is well known throughout the pet food industry, because they have a variety of different products available.
In their canned formula line, they offer various different flavors and varieties. The Wellness Core line is grain free, and suitable for dogs in all life stages- even puppies! It is carefully regulated to ensure proper mineral levels, which lead to better metabolic function. It also contains greens and other botanicals for added health benefits, and Omega blends for a healthy coat and skin.
It is a great way to complement the Wellness Core Dry dog food formulas. As always with Wellness, the canned food contains no meat by-products, soy, corn, wheat, or artificial colors, preservatives or flavors. You can get a 12 pack of 12.5 oz cans, or a 24 pack of 6 oz cans for your convenience.
#9 Natural Balance Canned Formulas
Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance is an ultra premium dog food that offers optimal nutrients for quality health.
They also have a variety of different canned formulas for you to choose from, including grain free and limited ingredient diet formulas. Their Ultra-Premium canned food comes in both beef and chicken varieties, but they have a variety of other varieties as well, including Duck and Potato formula! Each of their foods are completely balanced for the nutrition of dogs in all life stages, and contains the essential nutrients that they need to be healthy.
It is free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, and there are no bleached ingredients. This food offers your pet the diet that nature intended for them to have. It comes in cases of twelve 13 oz cans for your convenience, and makes a great treat from time to time.
#10 Canidae Canned Formula
Finally, we will take a look at Canidae canned dog food formulas, which offer natural and holistic nutrition for dogs in all life stages.
They have a variety of different flavor and ingredient options for you to choose from. Their basic formula is Chicken & Rice in Chicken Broth. It includes ingredients that will boost a healthy skin and coat, and also provide your dog with the nutrients that they need to be healthy. Aside from their canned formulas, they also have a variety of different dry dog foods that complement the canned food.
In fact, Canidae recommends that you feed your dog only 25% canned food to 75% dog food, according to their weight. If you do this, you can prevent loose stools and achieve a completely balanced diet for your pup.
The Drawbacks of Canned Dog Food
Canned dog food, when fed in moderation, is not a bad thing. It is when you begin feeding your pet solely wet food that it can become a problem. Believe it or not, dry kibble is important when it comes to the health of your dog’s teeth and gums. Crunching and chewing the kibble helps to break down tartar and plaque that build up on their teeth, which if left there could lead to gum disease and other issues.
Wet food doesn’t have that benefit. In fact, the wet food can remain in their teeth and cause tooth decay if it is not cleaned away after they eat.
Canned dog food is also not as convenient as dry kibble. If you feed it regularly, you have to make sure that you keep it refrigerated after it is opened. Then, you must warm it enough, without letting it get too warm, for your dog to be able to eat it. If you are a free feeder, then dry kibble is going to be the best option.
Lastly, canned food is ultimately more expensive than dry food. You will pay more per ounce of premium wet food than you would for premium quality dry food. So, not only is it best for their dental health to eat kibble regularly, with supplemental canned foods, it is also best for your pocketbook!
Making Your Choice
So, with both positive and negative aspects coming along with canned dog food, what do you want to feed your pet? Many pet owners say that a combination of both dry kibble and canned food as a supplement from time to time is the best solution for their pet’s dietary needs. You can use it to give your pup a boost in healthy fats and proteins from time to time. Just remember to count the calories in both the wet and dry food, so that you don’t over feed your pet. Believe it or not, some dogs will overeat- even though many say that they stop when they are full. Sometimes this isn’t the case.
I've been a dog lover since the day I was born but it's the current four legged love of my life, Phoebe who inspired me to create the Munch.Zone.
We moved together from Israel to New York in 2013, love hiking together, and never pass up a trip to the dog park. Watching her over the years sparked so many questions about dog behavior and health needs, and it wasn't always easy to find answers. Thus, the Munch.Zone was born.
On any given day you'll find me watching Netflix originals, eating popcorn, and thinking about how to get into house flipping.